Dr. Emma Cunliffe appointed Principal, Green College

UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is pleased to announced that Dr. Emma Cunliffe, Professor in the Allard School of Law, has been appointed as the fourth Principal of Green College, effective July 1, 2024. She will serve in the role for a five-year term while cross-appointed to the Faculty of Law.

In her academic work, Dr. Cunliffe studies how courts decide the facts of contested cases. She is particularly interested in expert evidence, the operation of implicit bias, and legal processes regarding gendered and racialized violence, particularly those regarding Indigenous Peoples. Dr. Cunliffe is a member of the evidence-based forensic initiative, which is based at the University of New South Wales (where she is a senior visiting fellow). Her 2011 monograph Murder, Medicine and Motherhood (Hart: Oxford, 2011) provided a comprehensive evaluation of the wrongful conviction of Australian mother Kathleen Folbigg. This book led to a review of Ms. Folbigg’s case and eventually, contributed to her receiving a free pardon in June 2023.

With funding from SSHRC, Dr Cunliffe is presently analyzing how facts are “found” in Canadian trials, inquests and commissions of inquiry that engage with gendered and racialized violence. She is particularly investigating whether expert knowledge (such as forensic medicine and psychiatric testing) operates as a Trojan horse by which discriminatory knowledge and beliefs reinforce implicit and structural biases within the legal system. She is also studying examples of legal processes in which discriminatory beliefs are successfully countered.

Dr. Cunliffe’s contributions to research and teaching have been recognized across the university including the 2016 Courage in Law Award given by the Indigenous Law Students Association at UBC, a UBC Killam Research Fellowship (2014), the Killam Award for Teaching Excellence (2010) and the George Curtis Memorial Award for Teaching (2010).

Former Principal Dr. Mark Vessey served as Principal of Green College at UBC from 2008-2023. Thank you Dr. Vessey, and congratulations to Dr. Cunliffe.

Please visit the Green College website to read the full announcement.

Monday, 08 July 2024